Brown Rice sold in the Northeastern USA has been found to be infested due to issues in the distribution chain and storage. According to continued research by the Star-K, this issue is more widespread than previous thought. Affected batches were found in markets from NY to Maryland.
The Star-K research is ongoing and they will issue updates as warranted. In the meantime, they are recommending that consumers in the affected areas check ALL brown rice before use, using the following procedure:
- Place brown rice in a fine mesh strainer. Shake for 25-30 seconds over a light box or white paper
- Examine the surface of the lightbox or paper under a strong light for any insect presence. Research has identified booklice and mites as the most common insects.
Quinoa has also been found to be infested for the same reason as brown rice. Quinoa in general seems to be more susceptible to infestation than other similar grans. The problem was mainly found in quinoa that had been stored for over a year (i.e. it had been packed more than a year before). Quinoa packed within the year was usually not infested.
However, due to differences in each company’s date coding, the Star-K is recommending that ALL quinoa be checked before use in the same manner as brown rice above.
Barley (especially Yoshon brands) continues to have consistent issues with infestation. Therefore, the Star-K now recommends that ALL barley be checked before use. Check Star-K website for instructions on how to check barley (video).